European leaders 'committed' to Iran deal after US withdrawal

European leaders 'committed' to Iran deal after US withdrawal
The statements from the leaders of Britain, France and Germany suggest a transatlantic clash is looming over Trump's decision.
2 min read
Marcon, Merkel and May say they are committed to upholding the Iran deal [Getty]

France, Germany and Britain are committed to implementing the 2015 Iran nuclear deal despite US President Donald Trump's decision to pull out and reimpose sanctions.

"Our governments remain committed to ensuring the agreement is upheld, and will work with all the remaining parties to the deal to ensure this remains the case including through ensuring the continuing economic benefits to the Iranian people that are linked to the agreement," said a joint statement.

The statement from British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron suggests a transatlantic clash is looming over Trump's decision amid warnings for European firms working in Iran that they could be subject to sanctions.

Explainer: The landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal

"We urge the US to ensure that the structures of the JCPoA (Iran deal) can remain intact, and to avoid taking action which obstructs its full implementation by all other parties to the deal," the joint statement said.

It added that Trump's decision had been noted with "regret and concern" and it urged Iran to continue complying with its obligations.

"We encourage Iran to show restraint in response to the decision by the US; Iran must continue to meet its own obligations under the deal," it added.

US withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal 'will spark a Middle East arms race', warns Jordan

European leaders have been in talks with the US for the past few months to convince Trump to uphold the accords. 

Macron had proposed an additional deal that extends Iran's nuclear restrictions while also curbing its ballistic missile programme and Tehran-controlled militias in the Middle East.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a similar pitch when visiting Washington in person in the hopes of convincing Trump.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday said he was "deeply concerned" by the US decision and urged other signatories to remain committed to the deal.  

He described it as a "major achievement in nuclear non-proliferation and diplomacy" which has "contributed to regional and international peace and security".